I recently read a great post Robert Lesser, of Direct Impact Marketing, wrote called Use Outbound Marketing to Target These Buyer Types. It coordinates nicely with our recent discussion around The Flaw In Calculating Inbound v. Outbound Marketing.
The meat of Robert's argument is that having an intimate knowledge of your buyer has never been more important. It is key to understand:
- The challenges they face on a day to day basis
- The projects that are important to them
- How their boss measures success
These data points should serve as the foundation for outbound messaging.
Some buyers will reach out to you...that is the power and the beauty of inbound marketing. But, like it or not, some buyers require that you do the reaching. Understanding how, how often and with what medium to reach out - that is the secret sauce of outbound.
Effective outbound also mandates you understand what kind of buyer you are targeting. Robert did a great job defining different buyer types and we added our two cents on how to sell to them:
The Unaware Buyer - is evaluating but is unaware of your solution despite your high level of marketing activity.
With this buyer you are late to the game. The other vendors have already set the agenda so you need to go in with guns blazing. Don't waste time on fluff, go right to the meat of your competitive advantage and be relentless.
The Buyer with Unmet Needs - may have underlying needs that have not been openly discussed with a third party. Or perhaps, the buyer was unaware of a solution that would address their needs so had not initiated an evaluation. Early stage solutions that are new-to-market often target buyers with latent needs.
Even in a Sales 2.0 world there remain sales situations that require taking latent pain to recognized pain. This is most especially true if you are selling to the innovator and early adopter space. Here is where drip marketing and lead nurturing are critical. Identify your buyer, arouse curiosity, begin a conversation and then delver relevant content combined with the human touch to educate them and position your solution. Not an easy task but with the advent of some of the great technologies out there like Eloqua, Genius, Marketo, Silverpop and others, it is a lot easier than it has ever been before.
The Tuned-out Buyer - not all buyers participate in social media or conduct online searches. Some buyers expect that some vendors must reach out to them as a precondition to considering their solution.
A typical decision maker will get a minimum of 30 unsolicited calls and/or emails a day. Cutting through the noise is key to success in outbound marketing. Note what your Reps are communicating in their voice and email messages. Is it all about you or is it about the buyer and what they care about? If you don't know or it is all about you, now is time to step back and spend some time redrafting your message.
The Buyer at the Tipping Point - B2B marketing is part art and part science. Given the length of the marketing and sales cycle, we can often identify many of the touches that led to a closed sale but we are unable to pinpoint the catalyst that converted the buyer.
The moral of the story here is "Know Thy Trigger Events". Spend some time knowing what trigger events would lead a buyer to look at you. Then invest in a technology like InsideView to deliver notifications to your sales organization of those events. To make this work, make sure your sales organization is prepared with messaging that incorporates the trigger events into their outreach. Don't waste an event opportunity by delivering vanilla messaging.
So, thanks Robert for a great post. And readers, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts on how buyer types impact the inbound/outbound marketing mix!(Photo Credit: mbgrigby)
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